Viisage Awarded Contract with Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

Law enforcement adoption of facial recognition indicative of growing trend toward use of technology to reduce fraud


Viisage, a leading provider of advanced technology identity solutions, today announced that the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) has awarded the company a one-year contract to upgrade its digital image system. The contract, valued at $534,000, also calls for the creation of a pilot program to use Viisage's face recognition technology as a first step in enhancing the department's booking and criminal identification processes.

Throughout its eight-year relationship with the Ohio DRC, Viisage has worked closely with the department to create and maintain a state-of-the-art digital image system that has proved instrumental in augmenting the organization's ability to identify inmates and support investigations statewide. With the introduction of a face recognition component to the program, the department is expected to explore the expansion of security in several critical processes such as visitation screening, prisoner pre-booking and the issuance of employee and inmate ID cards.

"Possessing the ability to accurately identify potential threats at DRC facilities is critical in creating a secure environment for employees, visitors and inmates," said Bernard Bailey, president and CEO of Viisage. "The extension of our 8-year partnership with the Ohio DRC is testament to the success we have had in helping the DRC ensure that its employees have the most advanced tools at their disposal for identifying people."

In augmenting visitation screening, for example, officials at the Ohio DRC anticipate the introduction of face recognition technology will help deter undesirable or unauthorized visitors from attempting to meet with inmates. The DRC face recognition pilot program is schedule to begin in January 2005 at a designated high security DRC prison, which will use the technology to evaluate the visitation process and crackdown on illegal activity. In the future, DRC plans to leverage the technology to provide additional identity information for prisoner pre-booking and criminal intelligence efforts in support of the Ohio Bureau of Investigations.

"Identity Solutions that include face recognition technology are having a tremendous impact on the ability of law enforcement to identify individuals more quickly and accurately," added Mr. Bailey. "We anticipate this enhancement to the DRC will help law enforcement personnel make more informed and timely decisions, resulting in increased public safety and homeland security."